PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Port Arthur

November 8, 2013

Deshotel to help PA residents sign up for insurance

PORT ARTHUR — Glitches in www.healthcare.gov, the website for President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, have hindered applicants attempting to enroll in the Affordable Care Act since Oct. 1.

To lessen this burden for the people of Jefferson County, Rep. Joe Deshotel is partnering with Lisa Chambers, principal at Memorial 9th Grade Academy, and Enroll America to host an Affordable Care Act sign-up event on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Academy, 2441 61st Street.

In a community such as Jefferson County, where 27 percent of the population is currently without health insurance, the Affordable Care Act could work wonders, said Deshotel, D-Beaumont.

“There’s a big need, particularly in South County where unemployment is high,” Deshotel said. “If you’re unemployed, you’re certainly not going to have health insurance.”

 There will be 10 health care navigators to assist the uninsured on at least 60 computers, Deshotel said. Applicants do not need to bring any form of identification or paperwork, as long as they know essential information such as their Social Security number. Because an e-mail address is required, volunteers will also be on hand to set applicants up with an e-mail address through Gmail or Yahoo if they do not already have one.

Currently the website is fully functioning, Deshotel said, although no one can anticipate any issues that may arise on the day of the event.

“We don’t actually know what to expect the problems to be until Saturday,” he said. “That’s way beyond our control. Hopefully, people who show up can get enrolled.”

Deshotel said he is not certain applicants can complete the entire process in one sitting, but they will be able to complete the portions that are required by law.

“We hope to have a good turnout and get to help some people out,” he said.

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA

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